Diesel Particulate Filters (commonly referred to as DPF’s) are designed to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from diesel engine exhaust systems in an effort to reduce the smog that used to fill our city’s atmospheres. Versions of these filters have been around since 1980, but the modern DPF filters were federally mandated to be installed on all late model diesel trucks in 2009. Under new government regulation, these DPF’s are designed to filter up to 90% of all particulates to reduce the pollution in the air.
Unfortunately nothing lasts forever and these filters wear out like everything else. Most have a typical life expectancy of about 5,000 hours which can range between 150,000 miles and 250,000 miles. These filters are made of ceramic which are designed to withstand the high temperatures coming out of the exhaust manifold. Over time they experience blocking/plugging issues when soot levels become too high and plug up the filter, restricting the exhaust flow through it. While most vehicles are equipped with a regen style filter, single use DPF filters still do exist. It’s very important to keep your DPF as clean as possible because a clogged DPF can cause motor and turbo failures due to an increase in back pressure which will also decrease fuel efficiency as well.
Common Causes of DPF Failure:
- city driving/idle hours
- not getting up to operating temperatures
- not letting regen’s complete fully
- bad fuel
- wrong or bad engine oil
As soot begins to plug up the DPF, the motor will call for a regeneration or regen. While some motors can automatically go through a regen cycle, others will need to be regened manually or in extreme cases go through a forced regen. Typically motors can be brought up to highway speeds for an extended period of time, cleaning the filter of minimal soot buildup. However, a manual regen is required when backpressure is built up past a certain level. When this happens the vehicle must come to a complete stop to regen before the system shuts down the engine, or worse – engine failure takes place. A manual regen can be accomplished by either a factory equipped dashboard button or a software equipped support laptop. Either way, this requires the vehicle to come off the road – losing time and money while delaying the job on hand. Not only is there a cost of man hours lost by the operator sitting around doing nothing for 45 minutes or more but a machine not running is a machine that is not creating revenue for its owner!
As alluded to above, prolonged idling and city driving can really affect the DPF systems. Most of the time we cannot avoid these driving behaviors, but we can take preventative measures by making sure that we always purchase quality fuel and engine oil. Using a reputable fuel provider is a long term preventative tool; a good fuel product will protect your motor, reduce wear, and prolong the life of your DPF. Quality motor oil is a valuable part in your DPF health as well. New heavy duty diesel motor oils help reduce the buildup of ash and soot in your DPF filter by almost 60%. A high quality motor oil will also protect your motor from failure.
Another way of protecting your DPF is by using an exceptional fuel additive – one that contains a Combustion Catalyst. We offer the Fuel Ox with Combustion Catalyst, which is a Combustion Catalyst that drastically reduces the chances of a DPF filter failing. The introduction of Fuel Ox with Combustion Catalyst into your fuel will improve the combustion process making it a more thorough burn and therefore a cleaner burn. It decreases soot and carbon deposits so that there are less emissions to be caught by the DPF in the first place. Less emissions means less regen’s. In fact, our customers report 50%+ less regen’s when using Fuel Ox with Combustion Catalyst. If you have any questions about how you can extend the life of your DPF’s feel free to contact us at [email protected] or at 1.844.8.FUELOX.